Friday, March 2, 2012

Della Terra

Della Terra gets ** out of four mannillos. i'm still lazy so no full review. old reviews can be found at I'm still not opposed to guest reviews/commentaries.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blackrock Kitchen and Bar

Blackrock Kitchen and Bar gets *** out of four mannillos.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday, December 5, 2011


seven came out to Siena last Thursday and although december is here the weather felt more like october/autumn.
appetizers were excellent - lobster pot pie, artichoke hearts, filet mignon pizza, ahi tuna, stuffed peppers and gnocchi. main course not too bad - veal cutlets, sausage pasta and a couple of other dishes that i don't remember. no dessert.
sorry people about mailing this review of Siena in. the group agrees that it gets *** out of four mannillos. you can visit to read the entire review (but don't expect much more).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Roycroft Inn

if you haven't been there, the Roycroft Inn is a rustic, Frank Lloyd Wright-esque east aurora institution. i've been eager to try it out for some time.

with it's great wood and stone made building (you can easily imagine a roaring fire in a giant stone hearth on cold evenings) i anticpated a home-ccoked meal-type selection but was pleased to find some fine dining choices on the menu.

the group started with figs stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in proscuitto and served over a balsamic syrup drizzle, i enjoyed it but not as much as the excellent strawberries stuffed with goat cheese and served over aged balsamic. the french onion soup was good as well i was told. i also tried their baked brie. although it was served with a hot pepper jelly, i didn't get a taste of that but i do like brie so i appreciated that it was a selection. lastly the group finished the appetizers with their Inn madew hite truffle oil chips which were served with smoked gorgonzola. i'm not as much of huge fan of truffle oil as some of the others and found them to be o.k.
for entrees, two of us had the loster ravioli which was good but somewhat ordinary. i was told the sme of their osso bucco. i tried the beef tenderloin and was disappointed. i heard the lobster tail, served over some type of risotto was good as was there spanakopata and rack of pork.

the Roycroft is pleasant and comfortable as one would expect from East Aurora's best. however, i felt the food was hit or miss and certainly not extraordinary by any stretch so it gets ** out of four mannillos.

Friday, October 7, 2011


For appetizers the table ordered bruschetta, bocconcini (fried mozzarella balls) and clams casino. i'm not a huge fan of bruschetta and there was nothing special about theirs that would change my preference (although they have a roasted garlic bruschetta as well that might change my mind). The bocconcini on the other hand was fantastic. similar to, but much better than ordinary mozzarella sticks. the clams casino were good as well.

I had chicken their margherita - breaded chicken cutlet served with breaded eggplant cutlet and ham on top. The portion was giant but other than the sound of it, it was average. i also tried the lobster ravioli which was good. i didn't try the Sicilian steak but it looked interesting.

the bill at Amici's was somewhat higher than i expected especially in light of the fact that the entrees didn't seem too expensive on the menu. the expense may have simply been attributable to the alcohol but i didn't study the check to verify that. regardless, Amici's was solid but not spectacular so it gets *** out of four mannillos.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


with trepidation (at least for me after reading the reviews) five ventured to Acqua on the waterfront last night. i really want this place to succeed so take this review with a grain of salt.

Acqua has a great view and despite the dreary evening, the awesomeness of the niagara river and view of canada still stood out. the menu selection was interesting and although nothing jumped out at me (see my entree selection), i found it to have respectable choices.

the table started out with their clams and lobster diablo appetizer. it was great! spicy, sweet and unique. truly a must order. they also served a duck lettuce wrap. i enjoy p.f. chang's lettuce wraps and these are comparable. chopped duck is provided with various sauces (hoisen, sweet and sour and some other spicy sauce)along with lettuce leaves to create your own 'lettuce taco.' excellent. i was told the lobster bisque was good - spicy but not overpowering. i ordered their caprese which was equally part mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and salad. it had syrup-y balsamic dressing so you know i liked it.

so far so good.

for entrees, the table had their pork tenderloin served over a white bean and corn succotash with a cherry compote. i thought it was a little dry but still ok. also ordered was their titan shrimp and scallops served with orzo, fennel, artichokes (also a big lure for me) in a pernod (orange) broth. not too bad but not outstanding. their yellowfin tuna was very good served with kimchi and honey wasabi. seared outside and pink inside. the most controversy came from the pecan crusted sea bass. this was a huge piece of fish. there was no pecan to be found although i thought i was spiced well. the problem is that the inside was not cooked enough and it's easy to understand why as it was so thick. it did come with a delicious sweet mashed potatoes though.
and i ordered, wait for it, their all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs. i know, i know. very olive garden. the pasta was blah and there was some discussion of whether the meatballs (pork and beef) were any good. i enjoyed them more than the others but they had a strong flavor that i couldn't put my finger on. very similar to Toro's meatballs.

for dessert i ordered their chocolate bread pudding. although the cinnamon stood out more than the chocolate, i thought it was pretty good. also ordered was their cake parfait. Acqua serves various desserts 'shooter' style in a smallish glass which makes for good sampling of the various desserts but not really good for sharing. regardless, the small bite i tried was good but i was told that there was something 'funny' about it, especially the berries.

as i stated earlier, i really want a buffalo waterfront restaurant to succeed. my expectations were minimal after the horrendous reviews i encountered looking for their website but i have to admit that Acqua exceeded my expectations. in addition, they took the sea bass off the bill even though we never requested it. although not perfect, it's clear they are trying. so Acqua gets *** mannillos.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


i'm not saying i'm Kreskin or anything but i'm Kreskin as i somehow managed to correctly guess and reserve for eight (2 rookies) last night as a number of people dropped in and out over the past few days and last minute for Italian at Sinatra's on Kenmore Avenue. we've been to a bevy (i've been playing a lot of Words with Friends lately) of Italian restaurants in the 2 1/2 years of doing this and i must say that they are my favorite (San Marco, Carmelo's and Mulberry being the crème de la crème) and Sinatra's almost joins that trilogy (pun intended).

it was another pleasant evening (except for the rain, again) but the camaraderie was terrific. i've attached documentary proof of some of our conversations - enjoy. that doesn't include some of our talk about Cary Grant and basil leaves among many other things.

the table started with two orders of their specialty - braciole. it was awesome - tender and delicious. i also sampled their artichoke francaise (so much for watching my cholesterol) which was almost as awesome as the braciole. the table also split their stuffed peppers (see my previous commentary).

for entrees:
i did not try their ravioli or their lasagna and i did not hear how they were except for the lasagna didn't have braciole on top as advertised. apparently the grilled seafood (crab legs and lobster) was pedestrian.
i tried the veal piccata (lemon and butter goodness) which was very good. i also had their shrimp fra diavolo over spaghetti - the spaghetti was perfectly cooked and the sauce was perfectly spicy - an excellent dish. i personally ordered their veal palermo as opposed to their chicken palermo at the urging of another. i'm not a huge fan of veal for a couple of reasons. one being it's usually tough and chewy and usually doesn’t add any more flavor than chicken which i quite enjoy but Sinatra's veal was excellent - thin and tender. atop the veal was eggplant parmesan which was also fantastic. for a side i had al dente spaghetti with red sauce - all together it was an excellent choice.

i sampled their assorted berries and cassata cake for dessert - both were pretty good.
although Sinatra's doesn't quite make it to the pantheon of San Marco, it gets close. so out of a possible four mannillos, Sinatra's gets ****. nice, eh?

at some point, i'd like to revisit some of the restaurants we've gone to already so let me know if there are any someone is dying to try. i'd also like to possibly hand out new grades for past restaurants relative to the entire group that i've tried, but we'll see about that.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


don't look now but someone has a man-crush on Johnny Depp (and it's not me). we had a smallish group last night at Bacchus as 5 (one rookie) came out. we ate inside as their patio is under construction - it looks like they will no longer be hosting the summer film series as well. it was somewhat fortuitous as a torrential downpour interrupted our meal halfway through. the conversation was the highlight of the evening barely beating out a terrific meal.

we had interesting conversations about the aforementioned Mr. Depp (can you name two bad movies he's been in?) as well as Al Pacino. we also talked about Jimmy Fallon's prowess as a singer/imitator: and yes that is Bruce Springsteen with the assist (bonus points if you know who the local attorney is who Fallon went to his prom with).

onto the food:
for apps we had their roasted beets served with goat cheese, pickled onion, orange and a citrus vinaigrette. good; their crispy calamari and rock shrimp served in a sweet and spicy glaze. excellent; their steak and eggs with carpaccio beef, egg crostini, reggiano cheese and truffle oil. interesting but very good; their tuna tartar served with cucumber, jalapenos, asian guacamole and wonton chips. I dind't have any but I was told it was very good; and their berry salad with cinnamon walnuts. very good.

for entrees, I had their grilled filet mignon served with a merlot demi glaze, potato gnocchi and mushrooms. it was fantastic. others had: the bouillbaise served with shrimp, scallops, mussles, spicy chorizo in a spicy tomato fennel broth. spicy and very good; the panko ahi tuna served over a miso salad with sweet sticky rice. it was tender, asian influenced and delicious; the pecan crusted atlantic salmon was served with carmelized sweet potato hash, chorizo vinaigrette and honey burre blanc. I was told it was a.o.k.; and their pasta putanesca. I was told it was good but slightly overcooked.

for only the second time I believe no dessert was ordered but the appitizer's and entrees were excellent. so out of a possible four mannillos, Bacchus gets . you can thank dan gigante for being able to see my mug.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kentucky Greg's

a decent contingent showed up last night as 8 1/2 (1 1/2 rookies) came out for Depew's best barbeque at Kentucky Greg's.

Kentucky Greg's menu consisted of standard bbq fare of: bbq pulled pork, chicken, beef, ribs and of course in cheektowaga, polish sausage. for sides they offer: corn bread, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni salad, black eyed peas ('let's get retarded'), collared greens (fuzzy zoeller anyone?) , fried okra and french fries.

the group started with their fried banana peppers - awesome and we also sampled their deep fried, breaded catfish - good.

for the main course i ordered their combo with bbq pulled pork (above average ) and their bbq chicken (average) even though i was in the mood for their polish sausage (insert joke here) but decided to go with traditional bbq. for sides i had their collard greens (not that good) and their corn bread (average at best). i also sampled their ribs (decent), baked beans (good) and fried okra (good).
. i enjoyed the evening and the experience at Kentucky Greg's. although I am not a bbq connesouir, i wouldn't say Kentucky Greg's can compare with say, dinosaur bbq but Kentucky Greg's is what it is - a dirty spoon that serves average bbq in an area that doesn't have other bbq options. bridget was out only member who responded to my new rating system comment and suggested that i start something like a 'three mannillos' system. i like it. so out of a possible four mannillos, Kentucky Greg's gets three mannillos.

Monday, May 9, 2011


there was another big turnout last night as 13 (1 rookie) came out and 12 actually participated in dinner in the restaurant in celebration of cinco de mayo.

this type of place is tough to review as there are so many smaller dishes that make up the meals but i'll take a stab at the highlights. for the most part, each person shared their selections with the rest of the table:

we started with pork enchiladas which were pretty good. the table also ordered seafood tacos. i have to say that seafood or fish tacos have always scared me a little - the combination to me is simply food poisoning waiting to happen but i was pleasantly surprised as they were excellent (and as a bonus there was no ill side effects either). meatballs. good. their glazed duck breast was awesome. i heard afterward that their oysters are fantastic but sadly no on ordered them. i ordered their thai coconut curry soup which was excellent as well as their foie gras which was good as well. i also sampled some edamame.
there were a bunch of sushi rolls and pieces ordered but their caramel crab roll stood out. i can't imagine that i would have liked it but it was great. i also had their beef on weck roll which was good but didn't knock my socks off.

for dessert i ordered their coconut rice pudding - it wasn't very good (especially compared to Courtyard Café's rice pudding that i had earlier in the week) as it reminded me more of oatmeal than rice pudding. i also sampled their chocolate ice cream sundae - pretty good except for the peanuts. i hate peanuts in my ice cream. as an aside, i do love peanuts and peanut butter but do not like peanut butter flavored desserts - so that's no to peanut butter cookies, ice cream and cake but yes to peanut butter on my ice cream and reese's peanut butter cups. put that somewhere near balsamic vinaigrette in your minds.

i will say that i am somewhat surprised at the variety that Seabar offered - at my previous visit there the place was 1/2 the size and served primarily sushi. as can be seen by their menu and by our selections, Seabar was not limited to sushi or seafood for that matter. i was going to give Seabar a B+ but two people took me to task and nearly started a riot insisting that Seabar get an A- so Seabar gets an A-. i think i need to come up with a new grading system - i'm leaning toward a 4 star approach but am open to suggestions.

Friday, April 8, 2011


good day mates,
next month we'll be going back to the city to, (sigh), Seabar (

if you wish to visit Seabar on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. send me an email at least a week in advance.

congrats to Jeremy Colby who is our new County Attorney. maybe he will now grace us with a dinner visit.

on another happy note, soon enough i'll be down under, not like the 'thunder from down under' that Smith first thinks of, but this: - doesn’t look like a bad start to my trip.

there was a big turnout last night as 11 (2 rookies) came out to the (insert pejorative adjective) hamlet of Kenmore to feast at Torches. with my mind on my money and my money on my mind (actually my mind is on an appeal i have to finish in 3 days) this will be abbreviated.

the food.
Amuse bouche - thai chicken on a stick in a lettuce wrap - good
Caprese - very good
Pasta & peas - excellent
Sweet potato & pumpkin gnocchi - excellent
Stuffed (cajun andouille) calamari - good
Clams casino - ok
Filet mignon with scallops & shrimp) - very good
Sea bass - excellent
Creole pork tenderloin - good?
Fish taco - good
Mac & cheese (buttermilk fried chicken, blue cheese alfredo) - good
Cuban pork tenderloin - very good
skirt steak - average
Strip steak - good
Chocolate boubon pecan pie - very good
Concord grape pie - very good

Torches gets an B+.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Russell's Steak House

meat was back on the menu at Russell's Steak House last night. they say the month of March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb so maybe it was another ridiculously cold day that kept the numbers down or maybe it was the trip to the suburbs or maybe people were just sheepish, but six (no newbies) decided to venture out to Amherst (not too far from mane street) last night to the roaring comfort of Transit Road (cut me some slack on the baaaaad puns). the restaurant was hopping and the group ran into a bunch of notables dining out as well. the group stayed entertained as the conversation turned from such topics as Chris Lee to skydiving.

onto the food. i find that with most steakhouses that i've eaten at, the first steak is always the best - subsequent visits seem to always let me down. this may be the case with Russell's as I had a fantastic filet.

the table started out with some bread (duh) along with some crispy raisin 'toast' slices (almost like bagel chips) served with sides of butter, honey butter and an olive tapenade.
for an appetizer, i ordered the artichokes francaise - deep fried, breaded artichoke goodness in a butter sauce - i thought it was absolutely terrific.
and surprise, surprise, I also opted for their beefsteak tomato and mozzeralla (their spelling) caprese - served with a balsamic glaze with chunks of blue cheese. an interesting twist but tasty. someone had their onion soup - thick cheese over basically french onion broth. i was told it was nothing out of ordinary. their beef carpaccio was different: basically antipasto served over thinly sliced raw beef. although i'm not a huge fan of antipasto, if you like that, you would enjoy their carpaccio. although i didn't sample it, their chopped salad got a thumbs down.

for my entrée i had their filet neptune. chunks of lobster and a seafood sauce over filet mignon. i ordinarily prefer to order steak, usually a strip, with just a rub or a butter sauce, but the neptune was delicious. the rest of the table ordered steaks: goat cheese crusted filet, bone-in ribeyes and a filet. all steaks got the thumbs up from the consumers.

for sides, the table shared lobster mac & cheese, pretty good but i thought it was missing something to make it excellent; cheddar bacon mashed potatoes - excellent (it has garlic and bacon, only balsamic would make it better); their sautéed garlic rapini was very good; and their wild mushroom medley was very good as well.

and truly surprising, i opted not to order dessert as i was stuffed by that point but the table ordered their warm apple tart which, i was told, that the crust was excellent but the filling not so good. their belgium chocolate cake was surprisingly light and was very good.

although the waitress was somewhat annoying, the company was great and the food pretty good. the consensus was that Russell's gets an A-.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Blue Buffalo

our biggest turnout yet - fourteen!!! (two rookies) came out to witness drama at the Blue Buffalo last night. what should have been a positive for the Blue Buffalo was a negative as the sarah mclaughlin concert was happening at Shea's whose Pearl Street doors are directly across the street from the Blue Buffalo's doors. you would think that the restaurant would look forward to the increased traffic of a Shea's special event but sadly Blue Buffalo was unaware and didn't plan accordingly so there was a significant wait to be seated and served despite having a reservation for our 14. in fact, numerous people left after standing at the hostess stand being unattended for quite a long time. we had to wait over a 1/2 hour at the bar to be seated because, i'm guessing, they took apart our table to accommodate other diners. on top of that, it seemed that everyone was working their first day and for one girl, her last. bluesy music sporadically played in the background = a song played, silence, 5 minutes later another song played, silence . . . you get the picture. regardless, there's a bunch of people who will probably not give the Blue Buffalo a second chance. eat there soon if this food review appeals to you because they won't last long with how they're being run.

with that being said, the table started with a bunch of appetizers. i ordered the deep-fried pickles with honey mustard dipping sauce - interesting and good. the pork egg roll was worth sampling. their corn chowder was good (after it had to be reheated), their crab cakes were very good and bar-b-q shrimp over biscuits was not so good - a lot of sauce was too sweet drenching the shrimp and biscuits. they also have beef brisket over nacho chips - awkward. I was told the quesadilla was good.
i also ordered their chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. it was confusing as the dish wasn't sure it wanted to be a soup or a solid but it was tasty.

For entrées, i had their cajun macaroni and cheese (as opposed to their southwestern mac & cheese). Both were very good.
i was tempted to order their fried chicken and chicken fried steak but fortunately only sampled their chicken steak which was served over bar-b-q collard greens. this dish reminded me of the russian restaurant that i skewered last year. the chicken steak was flavorless, tough and chewy. i heard their brisket entree was chewy as well. the jambalaya was very good though.
amanda made short work of her fried chicken slowly turning the heavily breaded pieces into something that would better be served in a pulled chicken sandwich but I enjoyed my taste of it.

the highlight of the night (or lowlight) was when another table complained to the waitress that they no longer wanted their food as they waited for over a half hour for it. that made her cry and she apparently walked out on an already short staffed restaurant. that is too bad since it truly was not her fault but the poor planning of the restaurant management - hang in there honey - as U2 sang "don't let the bastards get you down"

by the way, I swear they turned the heat off during our dinner.

anyway, I was undaunted and ordered dessert for the table - pecan pie ala mode - excellent, and bread pudding - just ok.

notwithstanding how the place was run, the food was hit or miss so i'll give the Blue Buffalo a 'C.' if i considered the other factors it would get an 'f.' fyi - another table loved their food so take it for what it's worth.

Friday, December 3, 2010


although I love to dine out and experience different meals as much as anyone else, it's the camaraderie of the dinner club that I enjoy most. last night was no exception as five (all veterans) enjoyed buffalo's fine dining standard at Oliver's last night. a number of the group had to cancel because of mother nature although, not to rub it in, there was not a trace of snow on delaware avenue last night nor in my driveway this morning (see attached photos).
the group started with some appetizers and small plates: their beef carpaccio (excellent), scallops with baked potato and caviar (good), not too greasy fois gras (very good), beet salad (good), their bolognese (average), mozzarella with melon and prosciutto, and their lobster roll which was basically lobster salad served in a buttery bread envelope with potato chips on the side (very good).
for entrees the group tasted the calabrese pizza (sans broccoli) which was dominated by the flavor of the goat cheese and spicy sausage (good). we also ordered their fresh (so we were told) ahi tuna (good).

for dessert the group shared buche noel - light vanilla cake with chocolate frosting swirls wrapped on a chocolate ganache (excellent).
perhaps it was my high expectations for what I've always regarded as one of buffalo's 'a-one' restaurants or perhaps it was really just the quality of the food but the Oliver's experience let me down a bit so it gets a 'B'.

Friday, November 5, 2010


greetings and salutations,
Eight (2 rookies) enjoyed canada's finest foreign food at Brasa Brazilian Restaurant last night. As someone said afterward, "meat is back on the menu boys!" i am still so stuffed that we may need to avoid buffets in the future.
here's the deal with Brasa: all you can eat.
here's the rub: you get a buffet featuring baked salmon (good) along with 70 + items (salads, cheeses, potato dishes, rice, beans, cold cuts, etc.); 'gauchos' (for all intents and purposes, south american cowboys) serve various meats (also grilled pineapple) off a skewer at the table: chicken legs, pork sausage, lamb leg, beef tenderloin, beef rib eye, beef rump, beef short ribs rump steak, chicken breast in bacon, beef bottom sirloin and filet mignon wrapped in bacon. The gauchos come by the table and bring the meat when your two-sided 'tag' is turned to green and pass you by when your tag is flipped to red.
I had the filet wrapped in bacon (awesome), pork sausage (very good), chicken wrapped in bacon (good), bottom sirloin (excellent), top sirloin (awesome), lamb (ok), pineapple (with a brown sugar, cinnamon glaze - delicious), rib eye (ok) and rump steak (ok) - in other words, cholesterol heaven! i will say that most of the meats were much better when initially tasted than when tried a second time.
apparently the meat (and the small buffet portions I tasted) wasn't enough for me last night as i decided to have dessert - cheesecake factory-made chocolate cake ala mode (good).

the Brasa experience was not for the faint of heart or in other words 'Caveat Vegetariat' - vegetarians beware. if you like meat and a lot of it you will enjoy Brasa, if not there's always fallsview casino across the street. I happen to like fish, fowl and other former living beasts. although i lost $100 in 5 minutes at the casino afterward explaining the nuances of blackjack to certain vegas-bound friends, it was a good night. regardless of my gambling loss, i'm giving Brasa an A.

Friday, October 8, 2010


thirteen (two newbies) enjoyed casual, german fare at Ulrich's last night. the yankees won, people were chatty, there was no soccer on tv to put us to sleep and I avoided a soup attack on my lap with my cat-like reflexes - basically a great night.
if the first rule of dining club is you don't talk about dining club, the close second is don't take my appetizer and claim you thought it came with your entrée or maybe the second rule is don't pour food on me . . .
anyway, with 13 of us it was hard to coordinate sharing especially since most dishes had numerous, small, diverse portions. I started with potato pancakes as did a couple others. warm, chewy goodness with a side of applesauce. for an entrée, I ordered their combo dinner - sauerbraten and wiener schnitzel. I'm not entirely sure what was what but my meal came with sauerkraut, red cabbage, some type of cutlet (i'm pretty sure it was veal), some marinated beef and spaetzel.
the sauerbraten is the marinated beef - a little tough but some flavor. the same can be said for the wiener schnitzel - a breaded pork or veal cutlet, tough with a little flavor. I really enjoyed the spaezel - noodle-like morsels and the red cabbage. one of us had their 'red baron' which was a large stuffed potato pancake stuffed with sausage and sauerkraut. others ordered sausage dishes - bratwurst, weisswurst, kielbasa and american sausage I believe. I didn't try any other dish for reasons stated above.
for dessert, val ordered a huge piece of chocolate cake which she impressively managed to down by herself. some others including myself ordered their bread pudding - pieces apple, cranberry? in a moist doughy bread, topped with burgundy. very good.

I can't say that I've had all that much exposure to german food but I would consider Ulrich's to be authentic german cuisine. the potato pancakes were very good, the entrees were good in a tasty, satisfying and filling way and the dessert was very good. in no way is Ulrich's fine dining but I have no complaints except for the soup making the floor slippery but it was truly a satisfying meal if you enjoy german food so Ulrich's gets a B+.

Monday, September 13, 2010


it was another pleasant evening with seven of us visiting East Aurora's Tantalus.
the group started the evening sharing their drunken goat pizza appetizer - flat bread topped with goat cheese, pine nuts and basil. Survey says "very good." we also had their calamari (overcooked) and their stuffed, split chili peppers (better than average).
for the main course, I ordered their pork tenderloin off the menu - creole mustard glazed tenderloin with mashed potatoes and gravy. i enjoyed the dish but not as much as the pork tenderloin from their specials which was topped ancho chilies, tart cherries, currants & coffee beans. spicy and delicious. others ordered the spaghetti carbonara with bacon, parmgiano-reggiano, garlic & egg (not outstanding but tasty), the filet au poivre topped with a brandy, tarragon cream with mashed & gravy as well as their ravioli stuffed w/ salmon. (i didn't try either dish and can't recall anyone offering an opinion as to either). I was told the fettuccne w/ proscutto & basil tossed in mascarpone (italian creme cheese) parmesan cheese, topped with arugula was good and tasted their veal florentina in a tomato basil garlic sauce but can’t say I was wowed by it.

for dessert, most of the group headed next door to Taste where we sampled tiramisu and a cupcake (both mediocre).

the appetizers were good and the entrees were mainly average with the exception of the tenderloin special. to me, the company and conversation stood out much more than the food but that's how i roll so Tantalus gets a B.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


i've had two dining experiences, since the korea house adventure, that i'd like to share (delete now if you are dave sanchez):
1) i visited my first St. Joseph's Day Table on March 19. although my hometown of Rochester has plenty of Italians, the St. Joe's Table phenomenon doesn't seem to have as much importance as here in Buffalo (neither does St. Patrick's Day for that matter). All I can say is that I need to either start dieting or running again (probably both after the gorging). let's see, I had spaghetti with red sauce, linguini with clam sauce, breaded haddock, calamari, lobster tortellini & cheese, shrimp in a spicy red sauce, cassata cake, about 50 cream puffs and éclairs. unfortunately, i didn't have enough room to taste all the other dishes that were available. everything was fantastic especially the calamari and cassata cake - it just reaffirms that nothing beats homemade. thanks again to the harrington's for the invite;
2) this past wednesday a friend asked if i wanted to try a restaurant that serves eastern european/russian food. i'm afraid to name the place in fear that the following might permit a lawsuit for libel but i will throw my friend ray under the bus for suggesting the place. we started with salad. yellow iceberg lettuce in a glass bowl - no dressing, some tomato bits - ugh. by the way, no one was there except for ray and i. we also given a basket of bread - some hearty, not-too-fresh bread. we had chicken and mushroom blintzes which I can say were ok but were plain tasting. then the entrees - i had ogbvny (this place doesn't deserve a spell check) - a breaded pork cutlet which was supposed to be served with the restaurant's 'special sauce' - I read a review later that said their special sauce was pretty much ketchup. ray had pressed cornish hen. the best part of the entrees were the side of home fries and the only thing I will say about them is that they were salted. the best part (read: worst) of the meal was the drink: kvas - apparently an authentic, non-alcoholic, russian drink which was described to be a cross between root beer and beer. it was so bad I wished there was alcohol in it - I had to hold my breath to drink it. I had the special treat of having a dingleberry floating in mine which almost resulted in ray having a stroke from laughing so hard. this is the kind of drink that put hair on the chests of the russian women and allows them to pass off as men. after the dingleberry, the funniest part of the night was when we were talking to the waitress after the meal (and I use that term loosely) - first, when the waitress said the place had been open for three (3) years - ray's eyes almost blew out of his head from the seeming impossibility that this s***hole could be sustained for that long. second, ray mentioned he read part of a review for the restaurant and the waitress said she read it too and it was not a good review which created an uncomfortable, awkward dynamic. the funny thing, is that the rating was a home run for this place as it used kid gloves for the entire review.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

La Tee Da

last night six (6) partook in italian fare on the charming patio of La Tee Da in Allentown. the patio was packed and the jazz quartet jamming. the only negative to the patio was that i could barely hear anyone else's conversations (even when they included me) which of course did not stop me from talking the entire evening much to the dismay of the group. despite this, our clan seemed to enjoy the atmosphere.

starting off, we ordered their eggplant wings - breaded eggplant sticks in a buffalo wing sauce - basically healthy chicken fingers served with blue cheese, celery and carrots - delicious. th group also ordered the stuffed hot peppers (good, see previous discussions). i also had their caprese salad which was disappointing - no balsamic (see previous discussions).

for entrees, i ordered their spicy chicken sausage over penne pasta in what i can only guess to be not a marinara sauce but possibly a vodka, red sauce served with peppery sausage. at first bite, i wasn't sure if i liked the sauce or the dish but the taste grew on me and i found it to be an excellent choice. others ordered their vegetarian caponata with red & yellow peppers, onions, garlic, eggplant, zucchini over spaghetti which was spicy and tasty. also sampled was their seafood bowl - shrimp, muscles, clams and scallions in a broth served over pasta - very good.

for dessert, the table shared one slice of casada cake which was truly fantastic, maybe the best dessert i've had since starting the group.

it was a pleasant evening enjoyed on the urban, natural and inviting La Tee Da patio. nothing outstanding (except for the casada cake) and nothing negative (except for the noise) therefore, La Tee Da gets a B+.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ming Teh

still in search of another appropriate summertime restaurant we will be trying one with a decent patio in Allentown: La Tee Da (no website but nice write ups at on August 4 at 6:30 p.m. Please send me confirmation sooner rather than later if you wish to attend.
six of us (one new) ventured into foreign land yesterday and tasted Fort Erie's best: Ming Teh. Conversation varied from politics to BP to politics to soccer to religion to Lily Dale and to politics.
to the food. the group started with their fried dumplings served with soy sauce. not too much to say about them - they were good. i also had a spring roll which was nothing to write home about.
Ming serves it's entrees family style making it easy to share. we started with their moo shu pork. stir fried vegetables and pork served in a paper thin pancake (more like a crepe) with hoisen sauce. very good. the next five entrées came out together: 1) spicy crunchy sesame ginger chicken; 2) beef with tangerine peel & garlic; 3) wine shrimp with fungus (mushrooms) & bamboo shoots; 4) stir-fried green beans; and 5) stir fried noodles with chicken, shrimp, pork and vegetables. I thought the ginger chicken stood out the most - crunchy, breaded chicken pieces served in a ginger, sesame sweet sauce that had just enough pepper in it to please the palate. I also thought the beef and tangerine dish was excellent as well - tender beef in a garlic sweet sauce. the stir-fried green beans were also excellent crispy and fresh. the noodle and seafood dishes were pedestrian at best.
no one ordered dessert as the main course filled everyone up.
i don't think you can consider Ming Teh to be fine dining, however, except for the presentation basically, the food comes close to a fine dining experience. all in all I give it a B+

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rue Franklin

so much for the patio Wednesday night as nine of us huddled inside Rue Franklin and avoided the torrential downpour.
the group seemed to avoid the Rue's standard fare with most of us ordering their pre fixe meal which started with either a tuna nicoise salad or a pesto gnocchi. i opted for the gnocchi which was excellent but also tasted the nicoise which was good as well. i also had a taste of their foie gras over mixed greens and mango. oddly enough, i had two different conversations earlier in the week about fruit in salad - no one seems to like fruit and greens together. discuss. needless to say, the foie gras appetizer was very rich and interesting. i was told their hearts of palm salad was good too.
FYI - i did not order their raw venison carpaccio with balsamic vinegar sauce. just sayin'.
the pre fixe also provided for either short ribs in a wine sauce or an atlantic char over i believe vermicelli as an entrée. the waiter reminded the group after six of us ordered the char that we could substitute mahi mahi as the entrée (no one did). the char was good but not exciting - i cannot even recall the sauce with which it was served. i'm not really a rib guy but their ribs were excellent. also excellent was their filet of sole with lobster sauce and rice pilaf. also ordered were their tuna steak and filet mignon, neither of which i tried.
a choice of any dessert came with the pre fixe and most ordered the chocolate cake soufflé with vanilla ice cream which was excellent. also tried was their fruit in a cream sauce over a crepe(?) which was very good as well.
Rue Franklin is another is fine dining experience and as such the portions were somewhat small but satisfying. i do think their pre fixe is a decent deal if you can handle the limited choices. with the lack of diversity in the dishes ordered and what i tried i'm tempted to give Rue Franklin an incomplete but will give it a B+ with an asterisk.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


despite four last-minute cancellations, we still had six attend yesterday evening's dinner at Daniel's in Hamburg. Daniel's is to Hamburg as San Marco is to Snyder - tops. in a simple yet elegant setting, it's fair to say the group enjoyed the food, chat and the raging thunderstorm.
our posse started with Daniel's escargot appetizer: snails in a garlic butter sauce wrapped in a pasta cocoon. let me tell you, if balsamic is my #1 lure, garlic is a close second. i've never had escargot before and was not disappointed with Daniel's delivery - very good. The group also sampled their standard baked goat cheese appetizer (great), and special appetizers: butternut squash ravioli (good) and seared sashimi tuna (good). i also had their mozzarella salad with crispy prosciutto (average as the prosciutto added nothing to the dish).
as far as the entrees, i debated between ordering their veal chop and their roasted lobster tails over angel hair pasta in a vanilla bean butter sauce deciding for the later (doesn't seem like a difficult choice with that description though). jeff harrington decided to order what i didn't and grumbled about it afterwards as the sliced lobster tails with the hint of vanilla in that sauce were awesome while the veal chop was average. other choices included their standard tenderloin of veal with lobster (great), their halibut filet with crab meat (very good) and their rack of lamb with sea scallops - the lamb was perfectly tender and the scallops were perfectly crusted (excellent).
the group ordered an assortment of desserts, including their white and dark chocolate mousse (good), their chocolate marquis over a pistachio anglaise (excellent) chocolate timbale (didn't try) and their mascarpone with strawberries (very good).
Daniels's is fine dining and except for the some of the smallish portions which you would expect at such an establishment, i have little complaint (although i should have ordered a side of potato pancakes) so Daniel's joins the ranks of the elite with an A.


seven (one new) sat down at Santasiero's in buffalo last night to enjoy standard italian fare. if you haven't eaten at this staple of the west side I can tell you that there's nothing fancy there - decor or food but the place is solid (the food at least).
the group started with garlic bread with cheese, most of which had to be packed up for home because of the ample entrée portions. as far as the entrees, I had my favorite dish there, the pasta fasoola served with a side of hot peppers (tasty and satisfying). other's had: peas and macaroni, lentils and macaroni, spaghetti parm, linguini with clams, ziti with pesto sauce and spaghetti with tomato sauce. I sampled only the lentil dish which was good and everyone else seemed to enjoy their respective dishes. two dishes that I would have liked to sample are their goulash and their eggplant parmigian but because I enjoy the pasta fasoola so much I wasn't adventurous enough to order either myself.
no one had dessert as there is no dessert.
Santasiero's is about eating italian food and little else. their menu is billboarded on the walls of the restaurant and the scenery is out of a bad Sopranos episode but you can't beat the bang for the buck there so it gets a solid B.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Korea House

i had a feeling that we were going to have a small turnout when the person who recommended the Korea House dropped out. four (two new) of us decided to venture out and sample some of korea's best cuisine (or some loose interpretation thereof) at the ostensibly, aptly named Korea House. our group started with boiled pork dumplings (average at best) and their fried chicken appetizer which was very similar to general tso's chicken served in strips (a little over-cooked but if you like general tso's you'd enjoy).
for entrees we ordered their chicken teriyaki and pork fried rice as well as their combo barbeque - scallops, chicken, beef and pork (or something passed off as pork which spurred much discussion). no surprises with the pork fried rice - it was solid. the chicken teriyaki was simply grilled chicken served in a teriyaki "broth" that i would say was fair but somewhat bland. the highlight of the meal was the barbeque which was prepared by our server at the table (ala shogun without the presentation). we were given assorted accoutrements to eat with the meats such as seaweed, kim che (cabbage), bean sprouts, green peppers, noodles, something they told us was fish, bean paste (surprisingly good) and some other mixers which could be wrapped up in lettuce together with the meats. i cannot comment whether the meal was authentic korean or not but I can tell you that the good is that the group had an opportunity to sample eatables that i'm sure no one had tasted previously, the bad is that I doubt any of us would have chosen to eat those comestibles. we were left with questions such as 'what are we eating?' and 'did you hear about that chinese restaurant in Hamburg?'
no one had dessert - 'nuff said.
the group agreed that the meal was 'an experience,' its strength being the novelty, but as novelties are usually their own pleasure in and of themselves, we all agreed that the korea house was not a restaurant any of us would likely visit again. therefore, the korea house gets a C- supported by the fact that the 'experience' was at least pleasant.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Left Bank

yesterday we had our largest turnout yet with thirteen!!! (one new) at one of my favorites (if not the #1): The Left Bank (photos to follow courtesy of Rachel Kranitz and the not ready for prime time photographers). to my surprise, the Left Bank has wednesday asian night serving specials with an asian influence.

we were seated at two round, seven-top tables which the group quickly turned into an impromptu large table. louder than any other restaurant we have been at, it was very difficult hearing others at the table and nearly impossible to hold a conversation with someone not seated within two chairs but that didn't appear to stop everyone from enjoying the evening.

the best part of the meal were the appetizers: we ordered two ahi tuna tar tar's ($14 bucks per and worth every cent - possibly my favorite dish): raw tuna pieces on top of sticky rice with a spicy, drizzle of hot aioli and a spattering of tobiko; stuffed peppers (DNC - did not consume), calamari (very good - see previous emails) and their asian, dumpling special (no balsamic but a sesame soy drizzle = excellence).

it's hard to recall all of the entrées I sampled as I think only four of us ordered the same meal so were working with 9 different dishes that I tried but I'll do my best. I ordered the seafood vermicelli in miso broth special - it was somewhat bland and I barely had five forkfuls with all the other dishes i tried. I'm not a big fan of tuna steaks but I actually enjoyed the one bite I had of their ahi tuna steak but I wouldn't say it was anything more than better than average. my favorite entrée was their Carrot Papardella which was tossed with lobster, shrimp and crabmeat and served in a brandy cream sauce but was in fact served with rice rather than pasta due to a gluten issue. fantastic. I also enjoyed their Penne all’Arrabbiatta which was served with somewhat overcooked angel hair pasta, their Cheese Tortellini served in a romano cream sauce, their panko breaded chicken cutlets topped with avocado and cucumber, and I believe their Pasta & Seafood dish which was linguini with seafood in a light garlic (?) broth. I also had a finely cooked penne dish in red sauce and what I can only describe as a type of lasagna served with in a tomato, spinach sauce. in all, the entrees were pretty good but not 'A number one' compared to some of the other places we have visited.

for dessert the group ordered a chocolate devil's food cake, a chocolate chip mouse torte and a lemon something or other that I didn't try. the devil's food cake was somewhat dry but chocolaty, the torte was very good (mmmm, chocolate mousse) and I can't tell you about the lemon thingy but I was told it was very good.

if The Left Bank was judged by the appetizers I would give it an A+ but the entrees were a bit below my high expectations and the desserts were ehhh, so I'm giving it a B+.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The 31 Club

yesterday evening we had eight (two new) come to dinner at the 31 club.

maybe I had a San Marco hangover but I wasn't entirely thrilled with the vittles although the mood was considerably lighter than the previous month from the get-go. the group started with baby artichokes hearts stuffed with parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and some other fillings (maybe a lemon/parsley mix?) which were very good, their meatloaf foie gras with huckleberry sauce (really, really good if you can get past the foie gras part) and calamari. the calamari was good but like stuffed peppers or oysters you know what you're getting with them and rarely do you get something out of the familiar range (good or bad) and there was no exception here.
on to the entrées. a few things stood out on the menu that looked tasty but c'mon not even a hint of balsamic?!?! left with that fact, I teetered between their linguini with clam and lobster sauce and their tatliatelle bolognese, choosing the former as ms. georger opted for the bolognese. other choices were their eggplant lasagna, filet mignon and pork chop special. I suppose I should have read the specials better because I thought I was ordering the linguini with a white sauce when in fact it was a red sauce (does that make me sound snobby?). regardless, it was good. I enjoyed the bolognese a little more but didn't think it was as good as the one at Mulberry's. The filet was very good and had an exciting-sounding side: au gratin zucchini potatoes. it sounded better than it tasted but it was still good. I can't recall exactly how the pork chop was prepared - it seemed to me to have a type of creole/cajun flavor and was very good. apparently it's side of rice was excellent.

making up for San Marco, I hoarded a tiramisu which was very good.

again, any place would have a hard task following San Marco. regardless, I think B+ would be appropriate but I think The 31 Club is a step down from Mulberry's which I gave a B+ so I'm giving The 31 Club a B.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

San Marco

San Marco has no bar which may have contributed to a somewhat reserved conversation at the beginning of the night (especially compared to Mangia) but things loosened up quickly with conversations about the food, woodland animals and Tiger Woods. speaking of professional athletes, we were joined at an adjacent table by jochen hecht of the buffalo sabres and his german-model girlfriend. not sure what he ordered, but if you are what you eat, he must have had cream puffs. zing!

anyway, wow! the food was fantastic. almost every dish was passed around and I believe everyone sampled or had the opportunity to sample almost every different dish ordered. I started with the caprese, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives and mozzarella. it's a staple and I have no complaints except that I could have ordered the other appetizers which were absolutely terrific. dave ordered their penne all'arribiata as an appetizer. perfectly cooked penne in a spicy sausage red sauce which was absolutely delicious. another ordered their gnocchi del barone which was just incredible. are you guys getting the idea with these superlatives? both were so tasty I regretted not ordering them myself.
upon dave's suggestion, I ordered ratatori all'luchiana which they kindly prepared for me as it was not on the menu but apparently had been in the past. as with the gnocchi, the luchiana was very rich - ratatori pasta in a pink cream sauce with tender chicken and sun dried tomatoes. I'm running out of highly positive adjectives here but tremendous sums it up. I also really enjoyed their ravioli all'aragosta - lobster filled ravioli in a pink cream sauce. their sea bass didn't stand out but I don't prefer to order fish filets. their saltimbocca alla romana (veal scaloppini with prosciutto) was good.
if there is one knock on San Marco it would only be that I wasn't enamored by their desserts. if I'm having an italian dinner, I want tiramisu as my dessert and either a cannoli or cassata cake as an alternative (or homemade italian cookies). not wanting dessert is difficult to accomplish with the sweet tooth that I have but in fairness, it may have been because the filling richness of the entrees and appetizers.

I just can't say enough about the food at San Marco so I am giving it the highest grade of A+. I would strongly recommend San Marco if you are looking for a top notch italian meal in the area.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


for those unaware, 'mangia' means swedish massage parlor in Yiddish. kidding. just seeing if you're paying attention.
the first course of the night was hilarity (even for the waitress). dave sanchez took one for the team and joined us despite feeling a bit under the weather. however his illness quickly vanished at the dinner table as the conversation became unabashedly playful.

the table ordered stuffed peppers (better than average), their eggplant neapolitan (awesome - it had a balsamic glaze) and a cheese-stuffed cannelloni maybe? (good). no one seemed to be that interested in the eggplant or maybe I just hoarded it so no one else could get a bite of it but either way, if you like breaded eggplant and mozzarella that has certain type of glaze that I love - I would highly recommend it.
the smaller table allowed for a greater sampling of each other's plates. I ordered the veal francaise. I'm not a big veal guy and last night's entrée didn't do anything to make me one. breaded veal over fettuccini alfredo, that's it. I tried the veal saltimbocca which was better than my dish but still average. I also sampled the chicken florentine (mistakenly chicken as veal was ordered) which was only average at best. I had another pasta dish that I have little recollection about and finally come to their seafood and sea bass fra diavlo special. the fra diavlo was their best dish - although I thought sea bass seemed a bit odd for spicy marinara it worked well although I thought it could have been served with more sauce.
the table ended the night with their crème brule and tiramisu. both desserts were excellent but small portioned. the tiramisu was loaded with liquor which might explain why most of the table was hammered by the time we got to the bar or maybe it was the six (6) bottles of wine the table quaffed down. you heard me right, six. for five people (read two). and one guy was feeling ill.

for those who attended, please feel free to contribute your perspective on the blog:

i'm throwing out a B- for Mangia (maybe it should be lower except for the fact the Yankees are world champions and the absolute blast of an evening)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Black & Blue

there was a big turnout as twelve (five rookies) came to dinner in Williamsville at Black & Blue last night. good friends, decent food and a Yankees victory = an awesome evening! in contrast to Tabree, B&B is large, open and modern. unfortunately, the dining area was loud and we were seated so it was impossible for one end of our table to interact with the other. despite this, i think everyone enjoyed the company of the group.

i started with two appetizers: oysters and their kobe meatballs. there's not much to say about oysters - you either like them or you don't and I happen to like them - with lemon, tobasco and cocktail sauce. the kobe meatballs reminded me of swedish meatballs as they had a type of stroganoff gravy covering them. I happen to enjoy swedish meetballs so they get the thumbs up. i also sampled some scallops with a balsamic drizzle (yum), pineapple and sausage (interesting) and some potatoes with balsamic drizzle (yum). I like balsamic so much I may start putting a drizzle on my cereal.

for the entrée I ordered the ny strip with only their rub for flavor. it was good but I can't say that it stood out in any way except that I ordered it medium (I'm usually a medium rare guy) and still found it to be rare. I had an orzo mac and cheese side which was good. I always find that I am compelled to order mac and cheese when I see it on a menu but am always disappointed with it (I guess I need it to be kraft out of the box).

I tried a bunch of different foods and can't recall anything extraodinatry although I did enjoy their filet with a red wine demi glaze. for those who attended, please feel free to contribute your perspective on the blog:

i'm throwing out a B+ for Black & Blue despite it being very "Williamsville-y".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


we had nine (six noobs) join for dinner on Elmwood in Buffalo at Tabree last night in a venue slightly smaller than Mattingly's walk-in bedroom closet. fortunately, we were comfortably seated on the patio in the back which was a bit larger.
i had a sampling of appetizers including: cod cakes over spinach (very good), seared scallops with a balsamic drizzle and crabmeat mousse (excellent) and some sort of wild mushroom pastry (very good).
i am not a choosy eater so usually if i find a side that strikes my fancy (balsamic is always a lure) i'll order the entrée whether it be beef, fish or fowl even though i prefer chicken. Tabree's menu is diverse and the dishes have eclectic sides which made it difficult for me to opt on an entrée. i ordered their filet mignon over maytag blue cheese, asparagus risotto topped with whole garlic cloves - it was the garlic cloves that caught my eye.
unfortunately, i probably spoiled the chef's intent by eating the 4-5 garlic cloves before even tasting the rest of the meal (they were delicious). the filet itself was good but the risotto was truly fantastic. also fantastic was their ravioli special. i had a taste of some halibut which was good as well.
the food itself was solid but it was somewhat difficult to hear the conversation on the far side of the table as the patio was packed. also, there were quite a few mosquitoes flitting about which was a minor annoyance. regardless, everyone seemed to enjoy the pleasant weather, the company and the food so i'm throwing out a B+ for Tabree and would recommend it for a try to anyone.


hello all,
last night seven of us (three newbies) visited lewiston, ny and sampled the fare at Carmelo's. the gang started out with two of the appetizer specials - two meatballs and s swiss chard pancake. both were excellent.
no one ordered the same entrée and the dishes varied from pasta to seafood, chicken to beef. I ordered their bucatini all' amatriciana. this is the first dish that I tried that I enjoyed more than someone else's and it was fantastic - perfectly cooked bucatini in a spicy red sauce with salty ham (Guanciale) and red chiles. I also sampled their pappardelle with chopped veal which was also great (well cooked and tasty). I also had a taste of some white fish from one of their nightly specials but it didn't stand out like the pastas. I suppose everyone must have liked their meals as well since I didn't have a taste of any other dish.
based on what I did have, the thoroughly enjoyable conversations with friends, the pleasant surroundings and awesome drive down the escarpment (my favorite vista in western ny) I'm giving Carmelo's my highest grade yet.


our group had the pleasure of eating at Kuni's this past wednesday. if you haven't heard of this western new york sushi staple you must not like japanese cuisine.
maybe it was just me, but the conversation seemed to take precedence over the food tasting (which may simply be explained by my love and familiarity with kuni's).
anyway, the group had a good time and thoroughly enjoyed both the food and company. i was not adventurous with my selections, choosing only the KFC (kuni's fried chicken) as a dish i have not tried previously. we started with one of my favorites, the wasabi shumai - pork dumplings wrapped in a wasabi wonton. excellent (except i only had one). i also ordered the hot, hot, hot fish salad. various pieces of seafood over shredded lettuce with a smattering of a hot chili sauce. very good. the KFC was good as well, breaded tender chicken nuggets served with soy sauce. i finished out the night with a lone eel and avocado roll. yum. the rest of the group was light on the appetizers as two ordered the rather filling sashimi combo.
looking back, i probably should have abandoned my kuni's staples and tried all new dishes. as far as i'm concerned, kuni's is the best sushi - rolls, pieces and miscellany in the area.

Route 5

summer must be around the corner because only four were free to dine out at Route 5 in Hamburg last night. fantastic view, a fantastic dessert, pedestrian food - the best part of the evening was the sun setting over lake erie and their bananas foster ice cream cake.
we started with their stuffed peppers and mozzarella salad. the peppers were alright and the mozzarella salad was interesting: sun-dried peppers wrapped in mozzarella cheese spirals with balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top served over greens - sounds much better than it tasted.
for entrees, we ordered the goat pizza: goat cheese, sun dried cherries drizzled with balsamic (the balsamic was the lure but it was only faintly present in taste), panko crusted chicken cutlets with roasted red pepper sauce (interesting but a little too bland), their trout entrée (probably the best dish we ordered but still average) and penne pasta in a balsamic cream sauce (again the balsamic but missing in the taste). overall, very average. except for the bananas foster ice cream cake - ice cream cake with bananas in it with a chocolate and caramel sauce. awesome.

we have a lot of restaurants to choose from but I am very interested in choosing ones that people have enjoyed and those that have not been tried but have been recommended so please make suggestions of restaurants to try.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kennedy's Cove

I visited the Cove on both Wednesday and Thursday, having the blackened 8 oz. filet the first evening and the blackened 16 oz. strip steak the next. filet is not my first choice in steak cuts but it was truly fantastic which i cannot say was true for the strip. the filet was easily the best i've ever had - butter and blackened spice drenched tenderness that melted in my mouth.
each group enjoyed the Cove's fried olive with asiago cheese appetizer. very tasty. the wednesday night crew also enjoyed the clams casino which were also excellent.
each entree was served with salad or soup, a choice of potato (everyone ordered either the twice-baked or twice-baked sweet potato) and a slice of heavily buttered bread.
i was full by the time i got to my potato sides, but from what i was able to stuff into my belly, the regular and sweet twice-baked were pretty good. the sweet potato could have almost been mistaken for cake it was so sweet (which suits me fine).
i would strongly recommend everyone to go and try the filet and judge for yourself.

Friday, March 6, 2009


the group had an opportunity to visit Shango last night. some of us enjoyed a few beverages from the bar before sitting down. note: they only serve beer and wine (and ryan's soda).
the restaurant crowd was loud which was bolstered by live music; a pianist who started his set with 'the girl from ipanema' (it got better from there though with some diversity: some jazz, some beatles and stones etc.)
the group started with sweet potato and parmesean fries - both were excellent. i also tried the goat cheese salad which was excellent as well.
i started with the gumbo which was awesome and ordered the creole meatloaf as my entree which i enjoyed but sdisappointed as i really liked the buttermilk fried chicken entree that i tasted - tender and well-spiced. i also sampled the ahi tuna (good), mac & cheese (good), penne (excellent) and i think the grouper (good).
i didn't hear any complaints except that the tuna steak should have been ordered rare.
all meals were reasonably priced.
i would definitely give Shango the thumbs up and would like to visit there again.

Friday, February 6, 2009


i ordered the fish brettone, curly's fresh fish entree sauteed with mushrooms, capers and a white wine and butter sauce. it was very rich and, unfortunately, after having some of the ricotta or goat cheese-stuffed pablano hot pepper and the recommended black bean soup (both excellent) i was in no position to make much of a dent in my entree. but what i did have and what i shared was enjoyed by everyone. i also enjoyed a sample of the chicken ochee entree. i would recommend both.
curly's has a caribbean slant to it and considers itself to be fine dining which is supported by the the price of the meal.
i was not too fond of the dining room music (from the get-go which started with a jimmy buffett ditty) but the companionship and conversation minimized it.
i would definitely like to go back and try some of the other entrees.